History Main / PlausibleDeniability

10th May '18 10:42:18 AM MikeW
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* The series ''Series/AgentX'' has newly installed Vice-President Natalie Maccabee being told of a secret section of the Constitution that gives the VP power to have a secret agent do jobs only she decides. It's said that only the VP and their closest associates know of this as in case things go wrong, the President honestly has no idea what has happened and can't be responsible. Natalie goes to President Eckhart, who, as the previous VP, would know of this, to seek advice. While careful not to openly call Section Five by name, Eckhart makes it clear Natalie is ''never'' to discuss this again as not only does he not want to know what she does but he ''can't'' know.
2nd Apr '18 10:39:37 AM MasterFuzzy
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** This is also how TheMasquerade in general works-supernatural beings aren't really worried about individual humans, but no one wants to mess with them ''en masse,'' especially since humans started working with ColdIron. Therefore, they generally make sure that any explicitly supernatural business takes place away from the public eye, and it helps that a) magic tends to mess up any electronics made after WWII, and b) people have an incredible capacity for self-deception.
2nd Apr '18 9:53:22 AM MasterFuzzy
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* In the [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson]] series, a [[AWizardDidIt magical force]] called the Mist shifts events involving demigods into something more mundane that they can process.

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* In the [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson]] series, a [[AWizardDidIt magical force]] called the Mist shifts events involving demigods into something more mundane that they Muggles can process.process. Sometimes, this is more like a PerceptionFilter, and sometimes gets extreme.


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* "Mr. Sunshine," aka [[spoiler: Uriel]], operates under this in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles.'' As TheSpymaster for [[spoiler: Heaven]], he is seldom seen operating openly, instead mostly using {{Batman Gambit}}s to counter the forces of evil, or else helping people on the sly.
22nd Mar '18 5:56:48 AM darrenr
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* ''Film/{{Cruising}}'', made and set in 1970's New York, has several scenes where a tall, silent, muscular black man dressed only in a jockstrap and a cowboy hat walks into a police interrogation room and slaps bewildered suspects around. The detectives in the scenes make no comment and don't even seem to notice him. The beauty of this arrangement is that the suspects get roughed up and the cops don't lay a finger on them. And if the suspects put in a complaint well, who's going to believe such a crazy story? Apparently this was TruthInTelevision at the time.

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* ''Film/{{Cruising}}'', made and set in 1970's New York, has several scenes where a tall, silent, muscular black man dressed only in a jockstrap and a cowboy hat walks into a police interrogation room and slaps bewildered suspects around. The detectives in the scenes make no comment and don't even seem to notice him. The beauty of this arrangement is that the suspects get roughed up and the cops don't lay a finger on them. And if the suspects put in a complaint complaint, well, who's going to believe such a crazy story? Apparently this was TruthInTelevision at the time.
22nd Mar '18 5:55:35 AM darrenr
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*''Film/{{Cruising}}'', made and set in 1970's New York, has several scenes where a tall, silent, muscular black man dressed only in a jockstrap and a cowboy hat walks into a police interrogation room and slaps bewildered suspects around. The detectives in the scenes make no comment and don't even seem to notice him. The beauty of this arrangement is that the suspects get roughed up and the cops don't lay a finger on them. And if the suspects put in a complaint well, who's going to believe such a crazy story? Apparently this was TruthInTelevision at the time.
8th Mar '18 5:23:56 PM nombretomado
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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has had some bizarre run-ins with Plausible Deniability as a result of the original series's occasional mentions of late-20th-century "history". The intercontinental war of the 1990s is suspiciously absent from {{Flashback}} and TimeTravel episodes of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' appeared to have [[RetCon retconned]] that war into the late 21st century, though ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' finally gave up and admitted that the 1990s of the TrekVerse differ massively from those of our universe (one difference is that apparently [[CelebrityParadox there was no TV show called ''Star Trek'']] in the TrekVerse, as evidenced by the ''Enterprise'' crew walking around San Francisco in ''[[Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome The Voyage Home]]'' without being mobbed for autographs... of course, this means that the ''Enterprise'' was named after the Space Shuttle, which means, in turn, the Space Shuttle must've been named after [[strike:nothing in particular]] any of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise eight ships]] in the US Navy).

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'' has had some bizarre run-ins with Plausible Deniability as a result of the original series's occasional mentions of late-20th-century "history". The intercontinental war of the 1990s is suspiciously absent from {{Flashback}} and TimeTravel episodes of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', and ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' appeared to have [[RetCon retconned]] that war into the late 21st century, though ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' finally gave up and admitted that the 1990s of the TrekVerse Franchise/TrekVerse differ massively from those of our universe (one difference is that apparently [[CelebrityParadox there was no TV show called ''Star Trek'']] in the TrekVerse, Franchise/TrekVerse, as evidenced by the ''Enterprise'' crew walking around San Francisco in ''[[Film/StarTrekIVTheVoyageHome The Voyage Home]]'' without being mobbed for autographs... of course, this means that the ''Enterprise'' was named after the Space Shuttle, which means, in turn, the Space Shuttle must've been named after [[strike:nothing in particular]] any of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Enterprise eight ships]] in the US Navy).
27th Feb '18 4:14:34 PM AgentS7
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* Franchise/{{Batman}} tends to prefer that ordinary people think of him this way; the ''majority'' of regular folks in the DCU (outside of Gotham, anyway) tend to think he's a myth, so as to avoid scrutiny from law enforcement outside of Gotham.

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* In most continuities, Franchise/{{Batman}} tends to prefer that ordinary people think of him this way; the ''majority'' of regular folks in the DCU (outside of Gotham, anyway) tend to think he's a myth, so as to avoid scrutiny from law enforcement outside of Gotham.
2nd Nov '17 9:56:53 PM LadyNorbert
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* In ''Fanfic/JustBeforeTheDawn'', Battle-Master Gilias is in Equestria as a neutral observer. In reality, the griffons have sent her to train the Equestrian army in fighting deer, under the guise of plausible deniablity.

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* In ''Fanfic/JustBeforeTheDawn'', Battle-Master Gilias is in Equestria as a neutral observer. In reality, the griffons have sent her to train the Equestrian army in fighting deer, under the guise of plausible deniablity.deniabliity.
* In one story arc of the ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'' HighSchoolAU series ''Fanfic/SkyholdAcademyYearbook'', it's outright stated that the rest of the teachers ''know'' that Varric and Mahanon are up to something... but most of them don't know what, and don't want to know for this exact reason.



* In ''Film/IndependenceDay''. The Secretary of Defense has kept the existence of a recovered spaceship and alien corpses at Area51 a secret even from the President, so that if anyone would ask, the President can never be caught lying and accidentally reveal it. Which is exactly what happens in the movie, when the President rebutts Julius Levinson's accusation of a cover-up.
--> '''President Whitmore''' (later when at Area51): Why the hell wasn't I told about this place?

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* In ''Film/IndependenceDay''. The Secretary of Defense has kept the existence of a recovered spaceship and alien corpses at Area51 a secret even from the President, so that if anyone would ask, the President can never be caught lying and accidentally reveal it. Which is exactly what happens in the movie, when the President rebutts rebuts Julius Levinson's accusation of a cover-up.
--> '''President Whitmore''' (later (later, when at Area51): Why the hell wasn't I told about this place?



* In the [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson]] series a [[AWizardDidIt magical force]] called the Mist shifts events involving demigods into something more mundane that they can process.

to:

* In the [[Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians Percy Jackson]] series series, a [[AWizardDidIt magical force]] called the Mist shifts events involving demigods into something more mundane that they can process.



** Human ships used in Stargate are so large that, when in Earth orbit, they would be clearly visible to the naked eye and resolvable with amateur-grade telescopes. No conspiracy would be able to cover up an object in the sky only outshone by the Moon and Sun. Or a gigaton nuke detonating in space. Then again, the blinding flash is really the least of your worries when a nuke goes off that close to the magnetic field....

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** Human ships used in Stargate ''Stargate'' are so large that, when in Earth orbit, they would be clearly visible to the naked eye and resolvable with amateur-grade telescopes. No conspiracy would be able to cover up an object in the sky only outshone by the Moon and Sun. Or a gigaton nuke detonating in space. Then again, the blinding flash is really the least of your worries when a nuke goes off that close to the magnetic field....



** Though given the vast number of people that now know about the Stargate program (it's been leaked on TV by a-then discredited-media mogul; all the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council have been informed, including China who have explicitly said they have no intention of keeping the USA's secret; an entire US Carrier group was sent to deal with Anubis' attack on Earth (and the carrier and cruiser were destroyed, as was possibly the rest of the battlegroup), good luck on explaining that one away (over 8,000 personnel, and over 150,000 tons of equipment)); they were partly responsible for the forced resignation of the US Vice President Kinsey; not to mention all the random "ordinary" people who've been involved in one episode or other) it's frankly ridiculous that the story hasn't got out yet.

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** Though given the vast number of people that now know about the Stargate program (it's been leaked on TV by a-then discredited-media mogul; a then-discredited-media mogul, all the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council have been informed, including China China, who have explicitly said they have no intention of keeping the USA's secret; an entire US Carrier group was sent to deal with Anubis' attack on Earth (and the carrier and cruiser were destroyed, as was possibly the rest of the battlegroup), good luck on explaining that one away (over 8,000 personnel, and over 150,000 tons of equipment)); they were partly responsible for the forced resignation of the US Vice President Kinsey; not to mention all the random "ordinary" people who've been involved in one episode or other) it's frankly ridiculous that the story hasn't got out yet.



** General Landry mentions that this is why the military allows the production of "Wormhole X-Treme!", the ShowWithinAShow in Stargate that is basically the plot of the actual show. If it airs on television as a sci-fi show, why would people believe that it's actually real?

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** General Landry mentions that this is why the military allows the production of "Wormhole X-Treme!", the ShowWithinAShow in Stargate ''Stargate'' that is basically the plot of the actual show. If it airs on television as a sci-fi show, why would people believe that it's actually real?



* A literal application of plausible deniability was used in ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', when Earl meets the president of Winky-Dinky Dogs and tells him one of his subordinates burned down a competitor's hot dog stand. His response was 'Actually, I don't want to know about it. Business is tough, son. You try to play by the rules, but sometimes you can't. And when you can't, I'd rather be able to stand up in court and say I didn't know about it'.
* The trope is named in the ''Series/{{Castle}}'' episode "Still" after Castle saves Beckett from a bomb and Beckett fights off the urge to kiss Castle in front of Captain Gates:
-->'''Gates''': Oh for heaven sake's, detective, just kiss the man!\\

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* A literal application of plausible deniability was used in ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', when Earl meets the president of Winky-Dinky Dogs and tells him one of his subordinates burned down a competitor's hot dog stand. His response was 'Actually, I don't want to know about it. Business is tough, son. You try to play by the rules, but sometimes you can't. And when you can't, I'd rather be able to stand up in court and say I didn't know about it'.
it.'
* The trope is named in the ''Series/{{Castle}}'' episode "Still" after Castle saves Beckett from a bomb and Beckett fights off the urge to kiss Castle in front of Captain Gates:
-->'''Gates''': Oh for heaven sake's, heaven's sake, detective, just kiss the man!\\



* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the Viscount, the Arishok and the Templars all use Hawke as a neutral third party agent to deal with problems that they can't officially be seen to get involved in, as well as take the blame if it goes wrong. It helps that Hawke's entire work-ethic is "IWasNeverHere".

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* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', the city guard, the Viscount, the Arishok Arishok, and the Templars all use Hawke as a neutral third party agent to deal with problems that they can't officially be seen to get involved in, as well as to take the blame if it goes wrong. It helps that Hawke's entire work-ethic work ethic is "IWasNeverHere".



* A common RedHerring in Holocaust denial literature is to ask for "a signed order" from UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler instructing his lieutenants to proceed with the final phase of the Holocaust, in which the remaining undesirables were to be killed with gas in specially-constructed facilities using small and psychologically-suited staffs rather than being executed in the field by much larger and more psychogically diverse forces of security personnel. Ian Kershaw describes the actual working of Nazi Germany as revolving around the concept of 'Working Towards the Fuhrer', all the country's various organisations having to constantly court and maintain Hitler's favour or lose their funding and influence. [[OrcusOnHisThrone Hitler had an extremely lazy, hands-off approach to government]]: he would tell his immediate subordinates (Goering, Speer, Funk, Todt, Himmler, Goebbels, etcetc) what policies he wanted to be implemented in personal conversation, then each organ of the German state (Army, Ministry of Economics, Luftwaffe, Gestapo, SS, Nazi Party, etc etc) would submit its own proposal to enact it. He would then sign off on the ones that he liked the sound of, even (if not ''especially'') [[RightHandVersusLeftHand if the proposals worked against each other]]. He did this because '''A)''' he was incredibly lazy and '''B)''' he figured that [[TheSocialDarwinist this would ensure the flourishing of the most competent organs of the German government]]. While administrative inefficiency and (relatively) minor screw-ups were a fact of life in Nazi Germany, ''no'' broad policy initiatives ''ever'' went ahead without his personal approval. So even though there is no written order, there's not a snowflake's chance in hell he didn't want it to happen. There ''is'' however a debate within real historians about the extent to which he had '''1)''' been the primary driving force behind the Holocaust versus the man holding the reins, and '''2)''' always wanted a Holocaust versus him just having taken the opportunity when it presented itself.

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* A common RedHerring in Holocaust denial literature is to ask for "a signed order" from UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler instructing his lieutenants to proceed with the final phase of the Holocaust, in which the remaining undesirables were to be killed with gas in specially-constructed facilities using small and psychologically-suited staffs rather than being executed in the field by much larger and more psychogically psychologically diverse forces of security personnel. Ian Kershaw describes the actual working of Nazi Germany as revolving around the concept of 'Working Towards the Fuhrer', all the country's various organisations having to constantly court and maintain Hitler's favour or lose their funding and influence. [[OrcusOnHisThrone Hitler had an extremely lazy, hands-off approach to government]]: he would tell his immediate subordinates (Goering, Speer, Funk, Todt, Himmler, Goebbels, etcetc) etc., etc.) what policies he wanted to be implemented in personal conversation, then each organ of the German state (Army, Ministry of Economics, Luftwaffe, Gestapo, SS, Nazi Party, etc etc) would submit its own proposal to enact it. He would then sign off on the ones that he liked the sound of, even (if not ''especially'') [[RightHandVersusLeftHand if the proposals worked against each other]]. He did this because '''A)''' he was incredibly lazy and '''B)''' he figured that [[TheSocialDarwinist this would ensure the flourishing of the most competent organs of the German government]]. While administrative inefficiency and (relatively) minor screw-ups were a fact of life in Nazi Germany, ''no'' broad policy initiatives ''ever'' went ahead without his personal approval. So even though there is no written order, there's not a snowflake's chance in hell he didn't want it to happen. There ''is'' however a debate within real historians about the extent to which he had '''1)''' been the primary driving force behind the Holocaust versus the man holding the reins, and '''2)''' always wanted a Holocaust versus him just having taken the opportunity when it presented itself.



* Some gamers blame their controllers/lag if something goes wrong. Especially annoying if your controller really ''is'' broken (old controllers can be unresponsive after much usage, after all), or a sudden lagspike screwed you over, since the claim tends to be responded with "you suck, get better", or similar phrases.

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* Some gamers blame their controllers/lag if something goes wrong. Especially annoying if your controller really ''is'' broken (old controllers can be unresponsive after much usage, after all), or a sudden lagspike screwed you over, since the claim tends to be responded answered with "you suck, get better", or similar phrases.
29th Sep '17 4:41:26 PM KeithM
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** Jim Gordon has made a point of not looking into who Batman is under the mask, using excuses to explain why he might not know who Batman is under the mask, and intentionally going out of his way to not find out who Batman is under the mask. It's quite clear that he knows damn well that it's Bruce Wayne ([[IKnowYouKnowIKnow and Bruce knows he knows]]), but as long as Gordon has those reasons why he might not know, he doesn't have to explain why he doesn't go after Bruce those times Batman is wanted for one reason or another.
29th Sep '17 4:33:55 PM KeithM
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* A common RedHerring in Holocaust denial literature is to ask for "a signed order" from UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler instructing his lieutenants to proceed with the final phase of the Holocaust, in which the remaining undesirables were to be killed with gas in specially-constructed facilities using small and psychologically-suited staffs rather than being executed in the field by much larger and more psychogically diverse forces of security personnel. Ian Kershaw describes the actual working of Nazi Germany as revolving around the concept of 'Working Towards the Fuhrer', all the country's various organisations having to constantly court and maintain Hitler's favour or lose their funding and influence. [[OrcusOnHisThrone Hitler had an extremely lazy, hands-off approach to government]]: he would tell his immediate subordinates (Goering, Speer, Funk, Todt, Himmler, Goebbels, etcetc) what policies he wanted to be implemented in personal conversation, then each organ of the German state (Army, Ministry of Economics, Luftwaffe, Gestapo, SS, Nazi Party, etcetc) would submit its own proposal to enact it. He would then sign off on the ones that he liked the sound of, even (if not ''especially'') [[RightHandVersusLeftHand if the proposals worked against each other]]. He did this because '''A)''' he was incredibly lazy and '''B)''' he figured that [[TheSocialDarwinist this would ensure the flourishing of the most competent organs of the German government]]. While administrative inefficiency and (relatively) minor screw-ups were a fact of life in Nazi Germany, ''no'' broad policy initiatives ''ever'' went ahead without his personal approval. So even though there is no written order, there's not a snowflake's chance in hell he didn't want it to happen. There ''is'' however a debate within real historians about the extent to which he had '''1)''' been the primary driving force behind the Holocaust versus the man holding the reins, and '''2)''' always wanted a Holocaust versus him just having taken the opportunity when it presented itself.

to:

* A common RedHerring in Holocaust denial literature is to ask for "a signed order" from UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler instructing his lieutenants to proceed with the final phase of the Holocaust, in which the remaining undesirables were to be killed with gas in specially-constructed facilities using small and psychologically-suited staffs rather than being executed in the field by much larger and more psychogically diverse forces of security personnel. Ian Kershaw describes the actual working of Nazi Germany as revolving around the concept of 'Working Towards the Fuhrer', all the country's various organisations having to constantly court and maintain Hitler's favour or lose their funding and influence. [[OrcusOnHisThrone Hitler had an extremely lazy, hands-off approach to government]]: he would tell his immediate subordinates (Goering, Speer, Funk, Todt, Himmler, Goebbels, etcetc) what policies he wanted to be implemented in personal conversation, then each organ of the German state (Army, Ministry of Economics, Luftwaffe, Gestapo, SS, Nazi Party, etcetc) etc etc) would submit its own proposal to enact it. He would then sign off on the ones that he liked the sound of, even (if not ''especially'') [[RightHandVersusLeftHand if the proposals worked against each other]]. He did this because '''A)''' he was incredibly lazy and '''B)''' he figured that [[TheSocialDarwinist this would ensure the flourishing of the most competent organs of the German government]]. While administrative inefficiency and (relatively) minor screw-ups were a fact of life in Nazi Germany, ''no'' broad policy initiatives ''ever'' went ahead without his personal approval. So even though there is no written order, there's not a snowflake's chance in hell he didn't want it to happen. There ''is'' however a debate within real historians about the extent to which he had '''1)''' been the primary driving force behind the Holocaust versus the man holding the reins, and '''2)''' always wanted a Holocaust versus him just having taken the opportunity when it presented itself.
** The pre-war T4 program, in which Hitler officially authorized the euthanasia of disabled individuals, had been instructive to him: once news of the program had come out, there was outrage among a sufficiently large segment of the German population about it. After that he made a point of not ''officially'' signing off on such things.
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